July 17, 2009
University of Washington sophomore football player Skyler Fancher helped pursue and catch a purse thief near campus recently. The Costa Mesa, Calif. native has received national attention for his efforts, the story appearing on ESPN, local television stations and on various Internet websites. Following is a transcript of a television interview Fancher conducted with local media in Seattle:
Q: So tell us about the chase?
A: "(I chased him) through the streets and up through alleys and finally got him near campus."
Q: Given your injury, what were you feeling during the run? Were you feeling some pain?
A: "Not really; I was pretty hopped up on adrenaline, so I didn't really feel anything until afterwards. It got pretty sore after that"
Q: Are your coaches mad at you that you were running across campus in your flip-flops?
A: "No, I haven't really talked to them just yet. Just kind of avoiding them for now."
Q: Tell us what you heard when it first unfolded and were you just fed up.
A: "I know you had your own run-ins with crime. Were you just fed up at that point?
I'm pretty fed up with the crime around here. I got my truck stolen from me a few months ago. A few other things were stolen from me another time. I read every day, in the newspaper, about people getting robbed - and midday too. It's time to put an end to it. If everyone would stand up (to it), it would stop."
Q: Do you have any aspirations of law enforcement if the football thing doesn't happen?
A: "Yeah, I'm trying to join the Secret Service maybe, so we'll see how it goes."
Q: Tell us in terms of what the future holds for you in terms of your leg injury?
A: "The leg is coming along pretty well. I hope to be ready for fall camp and play this season, and hopefully we can beat LSU this year. So I think everything is going to be good, and I hope to finish out my career here the best way I can."
Q: Some people would call this the best play the Huskies have made in a long time.
A: "I wouldn't say that. I would expect any of my teammates to do the same as me. It's just one of those things. I'm just trying to be a good citizen."
Q: Have you talked to the girl since this all happened?
A: "No, I haven't talked to her at all. Actually I didn't get a chance to see her at all afterwards because I went with one of the officers to see if we could recover the purse, but I haven't had a chance to talk to her at all."
Q: Do you know if they did recover the purse?
A: "Yes, they did recover the purse."
Q: With your interest in law enforcement, how did it feel to catch someone who you witnessed commit a crime?
A: "It felt pretty good. I'm sure I would love to feel it again. We'll see where it goes from this point."
Q: Were those the flip-flops you were wearing?
A: "(Laughing) Yeah.
Q: So you ran a half-mile in those flip-flops?
A: "Yeah. They're good flip-flops. I pretty much walk anywhere in my flip-flops, so I'm kind of used to it."
Q: Did you expect this to turn into a big deal? Did you expect to be on ESPN later today?
A: "No. I kind of wasn't telling anybody, but you know how things get kind of leaked out, so it's kind of a shock to me. But it's about time for the Huskies to get a little bit of good publicity, because we're all pretty good kids, especially now."
Q: You mentioned how you were fed up with the crime around here. What do you hope people would do?
A: "Yeah, in most cases it's probably not the best idea to run after a criminal. You never know if they're holding a gun. But sometimes you have to put a stop to it. UW sends us a crime notification every time something happens, and last week I think I got around five of them. Just stuff like robberies during midday, holding up coffee shops. It's got to end at some point."